Dads out to encourage father-daughter relationships

By Siyamthanda kaNyambane

A group of three men have formed an organisation aimed at fostering father-daughter bonds between fathers and their daughters.

This, in an attempt to encourage fathers to have close relationships with their daughters. However, they are doing it a little differently.

They are Thabo Mashego from Burgersfort (41), Mzwandile Nonkula from Mthatha (44), and Mpiyakhe Khoza Qwaqwa (37).

They are all fathers to girl children and have started a movement called Dads of Daughters. The intention is to reach out to other men who might not have relationships with their daughters

Through DoD, these men want fathers to be emotionally active in the lives of their little girls.

“The objective is to encourage bonds between fathers and daughters. This is a measure to strengthen a girl child’s confidence as she grows older,” says Mashego.

“We started this movement in favour of the girl child. To say to her: you have the right to have a father in your life.

“You can grow to be a confident woman who makes better choices about the types of relationships you have.”

In their promotional events, the three men travel throughout the country to involve other dads of daughters.

They teach them about the benefits of loving their daughters from an early age.

“We are also thanking fathers for the roles they have played in being present in their (girl) children’s lives, in a society that no longer values that.

“Sometimes, when a girl child has never experienced a father’s love, they tend to seek it from wrong men,” adds Mashego.

Mashego is also a motivational speaker with a focus on school-going youth. As part of the library work, he holds workshops which he uses to encourage people who come to the library to have dialogue that can provide solutions faced by their community.

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Mzwandile has created a blog platform called So Says My Dad which he uses to connect with fathers and share fatherhood experiences.

He uses this platform to discuss parental matters at large and seeks ideas to improve the spaces and environments where children are raised.

Mzwandile was encouraged to start such a platform after learning in 2012 that he was about to be a father for the first time.

“No girl child must rely on a man for survival, and the presence of a father in her life will help in that mission.

“We are not encouraging women to disrespect men, but not to be dependent on them, and be confident enough to choose who they want to be. And the kind of relationships they want,” says Mzwandile.

Mpiyakhe has recently resigned as General Manager at a building materials company, where he created several community-building forums.

He never allowed his poor background to get in his way to the University of Free State. He completed a Bcom degree which has opened doors not just for him. But his family and his community are also benefitting.

“We are going to create a lot of dialogue with this concept, and get all men to engage. We’ve also started building community libraries to encourage reading,” says Mpiyakhe.

This is only a small portion of what these gentlemen have accomplished. They want to do a lot more in their efforts to add value towards nation-building through this concept.

The three have also created a gin called Dads of Daughters (DoD Jozi Dry)  is not only as a business. But it is another tool in the movement, to continue encouraging the father-daughter bond while promoting a responsible social lifestyle.

“Inasmuch as we promote father-daughter bonds, we also promote lifestyle and responsible drinking. So this is not entirely a business.

“The gin part of this will help fund our campaign through corporate partnerships,” says Thabo. The creation of DoD has also created job opportunities, including sales, in all nine provinces of South Africa, and 10 in the factory manufacturing the DoD gin.

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